Sir Iain Duncan Smith welcomes suspension of extradition arrangements with Hong Kong

20th July 2020

Sir Iain Duncan Smith welcomes the Government’s decision to suspend extradition treaty arrangements with Hong Kong and calls on the Government to look at Magnitsky sanctions against Chinese officials responsible for the situation in Hong Kong and human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

I unreservedly welcome my right hon. Friend’s statement; he has taken the right decision. We have had good cause to suspend the extradition treaty, and I will now withdraw my amendments to the Extradition (Provisional Arrest) Bill, although I suspect that that has not been keeping him awake at night.

I associate myself with the comments made by my hon. Friend the Member for Tonbridge and Malling (Tom Tugendhat) on the Uyghurs. The Foreign Secretary is right that he has to be careful on the legal elements of what he does with regard to sanctions on individuals, now that we have the Magnitsky changes. The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China published a report on the forced sterilisation of the Uyghur women a few weeks ago, and there is lots of evidence of the officials who are involved in that. May I, along with many of my hon. Friends and Opposition Members, encourage him to do what he can to get officials to look at that urgently, so that we may force sanctions on those responsible for what is happening to the Uyghur, and on Hong Kong—people such as Carrie Lam and her predecessor, Mr Leung?

I thank my right hon. Friend for his support for these measures and for withdrawing his amendments; I appreciate his magnanimity in that regard. On the Magnitsky sanctions, he raises two different issues: their potential application in relation to, first, Hong Kong and, secondly, Xinjiang. We, of course, have a process for gathering all the evidence on those potential cases. The national security legislation is newly enacted, so that will take some time, but he is right to point to that. I have been reading over the weekend reports by Amnesty International in 2019 and 2020 on the range of abuses in Xinjiang, reports by Human Rights Watch between 2018 and 2020 on the mass detention and political indoctrination, and the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination report in 2018 on the massive internment camps with no rights. We are looking at this carefully. As he rightly notes, it is important to assess this carefully, and it is a question of not only whether the abuses took place but whether individual responsibility can be ascribed to someone on whom we wish to impose a visa ban or asset freeze.

Hansard

 

Coronavirus - COVID-19

Image by Olga Lionart from Pixabay

For the latest Government advice on the Coronavirus pandemic visit www.gov.uk/coronavirus

For the latest medical advice visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus